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Research Agenda

Research of Importance to the Practicing Dentist, 2015–2016*

2015–2016 ADA Research Agenda (PDF)

Mission Statement

A major objective of the ADA is to promote a good quality of life by improving the oral health of the public and encouraging optimal health behaviors. To achieve this objective and to support the ADA’s goal to be America’s leading advocate for oral health, it is imperative that the ADA take a leading role in promoting, conducting and critically reviewing research on topics related to dentistry and its relationship to the overall health of the individual. The ADA should serve as a facilitator of the national dental research effort, identify priority topics for research, and ensure the timely dissemination of information to the profession.

Structure of the ADA Research Agenda

The Research Agenda targets three to five primary goals that remain consistent for at least two years as targeted research priorities. The corresponding objectives are reviewed biennially. Updates are based on emerging research needs and input from members on priority clinical topics in dentistry.

Research Agenda Topics

  • Goal 1: To understand the social, behavioral and biological determinants of oral and dental diseases and their impact on the provision of dental care.
  • Goal 2: To understand the scientific basis of emerging issues and therapies of interest to the practice of dentistry.
  • Goal 3: To conduct research in support of the application of evidence-based dentistry.
  • Goal 4: To understand the scientific basis of the relationship between oral health and systemic conditions, and to evaluate the impact of dental interventions on these systemic conditions.

The American Dental Association's most important scientific responsibilities are in the area of knowledge and technology transfer and in assuring that the profession is kept abreast of scientific and technological advancements. With this in mind, the Council on Scientific Affairs develops a biennial Research Agenda to identify the critical research needs of today’s practitioners, and to advance scientific research on the highest priority treatment-oriented topics, and emerging issues of importance in the management of oral diseases. The Council believes that these issues have short- and long-term impact on the quality of patient care and the continuing development of dental practice. The Council wishes to make clear that the Research Agenda is not exhaustive, but rather highlights priority topics that are directly related to patient care, answerable, and likely to significantly impact the practice of dentistry.

We invite your feedback and comments about the dental research priorities presented in the 2015–2016 ADA Research Agenda. Please email your comments to us at:

*Approved by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs and the ADA Board of Trustees, August 2015.